Will profit-taking on tech stocks continue?

09/14/2020 | 06:56am

The week is up to a good start, with all three indices rising, after last week’s high and lows, with high volatility due to uncertainty about the U.S. presidential election, a slowing global recovery and the now infamous set-up by Softbank on technology stocks.

This week, three central banks (United States, United Kingdom, Japan) will speak and Apple will unveil its new products during its usual back-to-school "show". Will this be enough to cheer up technology stocks, which are weighing on the stock market trend? It is possible, according to the first weekly indicators. In any case, financial transactions between companies are multiplying, which is rather a sign of confidence, isn't it?

Today, investors are asking themselves more or less the same question as last week: is profit-taking on technology stocks over? This is the main sticking point at the moment in markets that are still surprisingly stoic with regard to macroeconomic and political news. The Nasdaq 100 lost just over 4.5% last week, while more conservative indices, such as the Swiss SMI or the German DAX, gained 2.8%. A performance gap that is rare enough to be highlighted, and which is hard to see extending: the period of domination of the digital giants is not ready to end.

In Europe, the UK government's proposed Internal Market Bill is about to receive second reading in the House of Commons, where MPs will be able to debate the bill for the first time. If passed, it will nullify parts of the Brexit agreement and thus violate international law. Opposition parties are expected to vote against the bill, as well as a number of Conservative MPs, but the government's majority of 80 MPs is expected to allow it to pass through the House of Commons. Nevertheless, the bill is expected to face more open opposition in the House of Lords.

At the same time, Boris Johnson accuses the European Union of preparing a blockade in Northern Ireland that would prevent food from the United Kingdom from circulating freely. However, the Irish Minister of Justice has denied these allegations. The Irish foreign minister also told the BBC that the UK government's behavior is damaging the reputation of the UK as a trusted partner.

With only one month left now to find common ground on a trade agreement, the current situation reinforces the assumption of a "no deal" on January 1. The British government's unwillingness to abandon its bill is expected to fuel the escalation of tensions this week in the post-Brexit negotiations.

The publication of the European industrial production of August is the only major event in sight today. The U.S. Central Bank will meet on Wednesday. The Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) is not expected to announce a major policy change. Nevertheless, investors will await the economic outlook, especially on inflation and economic growth for the next two years and a breakdown of FOMC members' interest rate forecasts.

Romain Fournier
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